Nikolas Cruz’s younger brother is involuntarily committed to psychiatric facility: report
BY JESSICA CHIA
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The brother of the Florida school shooter has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, according to a report.
Nikolas Cruz’s younger brother, who turns 18 next week, was involuntarily removed from his home on Friday under what is commonly known as the Baker Act, according to the Palm Beach Post.
While an adult may be held and examined for up to 72 hours, the limit for minors is 12 hours.
Both Nikolas Cruz and his brother were adopted by a loving older couple. But Roger Cruz passed away years ago, while their mother Lynda Cruz died on Nov. 1 from pneumonia.
They were both taken in by Rocxanne Deschamps, a longtime friend and former neighbor, who currently lives in a mobile home in Lantana, Fla., the Palm Beach Post reported.
But she gave the 19-year-old an ultimatum and prohibited him from bringing his gun, writing, “Violence and gun not accepted in my house,” in a now-deleted Facebook comment.
Deschamps’ friend Chad Bennett said Nikolas Cruz chose to keep his gun, and moved in with another family while his younger brother stayed with Deschamps.
That family allowed Cruz to keep his gun in a locked cabinet and gave him the key, family lawyer Jim Lewis said.
It remains unclear whether the gun Cruz refused to give up was the AR-15-style rifle he used to kill 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where he was expelled last year.
Cruz lawfully purchased the semiautomatic rifle last February, according to Peter Forcelli of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Cruz has also shared Instagram photos of several different guns on his bed.
The 19-year-old, who is currently held in custody facing 17 counts of premeditated murder, is willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, according to public defender Howard Finkelstein.